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The Promise of Baptism
An Introduction to Baptism in Scripture and the Reformed Tradition
James V. Brownson
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POD; Published: 12/18/2006
ISBN: 978-0-8028-3307-5
Price: $ 29.50
237 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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Christians who otherwise love each other and work together on shared projects and causes nonetheless often disagree on the subject of baptism. Should infants be baptized, or is baptism for believers only? What exactly does baptism mean? What happens, if anything, when someone is baptized? Which is better -- sprinkling or immersion? These disagreements are disheartening to some and confusing to many.

The sacrament of baptism from a Reformed perspective is clearly and thoughtfully outlined in this useful book. James Brownson explains the scriptural basis, the theological underpinnings, and the practical implications of this particular element of the faith. Organized into thirty brief, tightly focused chapters -- each of which centers on a key question -- and enhanced by thoughtful discussion questions, The Promise of Baptism will be an important resource for pastors, students, and laypersons seeking to better understand this sacrament that lies at the heart of the church's life.

A sampling of key questions addressed:
  • What is a sacrament, and how does it differ from an "ordinance"?
  • What's the relationship between baptism and being "born again"?
  • How do the sacraments bring God's grace to us?
  • Can someone be "saved" without being baptized? Can someone be baptized without being saved?
  • Does baptism take the place of circumcision as the mark of the new covenant?
  • What is "confirmation" or "profession of faith," and what is its relationship to baptism?
  • What happens after baptism?
Theology Today
"I highly recommend the Brownson book for use in local churches by pastors, church boards, and adult education teachers. "
John Burgess
— Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
"James Brownson has written a book that is theologically solid and accessible to a broad church audience. Demonstrating a thorough familiarity with the Scriptures and the Reformed tradition, he tackles the knotty questions that arise in many Protestant congregations today: Is baptism necessary for salvation? Who was eligible for baptism in the early church? Why do different denominations view baptism in different ways? If you have ever wondered whether or why babies should be baptized, Brownson will help you rediscover the power of God's covenant promises."